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June 14, 1983 Tuesday (1638.8 mtg) From Gonzo!s Appalachian Trail journal

Oatmeal for breakfast and off we go, the highlight of the day was the blossoming of the Rhododendron. Other than that, the trail generally left no impressions on me. Or is the drudgery of the trip beginning to set in? Ate lunch at the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area Visitors Center near the road crossing at Va 16. Somehow, probably by consulting the Philosophers Guide to the AT, we became aware of the fact that there was supposedly an all you can eat salad bar at the Motel on the road to Atkins, Virginia. That was all it took for Jim to decide that he wanted to be there tonight for a feast. So much for our short day today. We left the visitors center and after a short descent, we began our ascent of Brushy Mountain. About four miles past Brushy Mountain, we stopped at Glade Mountain Shelter for a short break. This shelter had a nice little stream running out in front of the shelter, and would have been our destination for the night had our stomachs not taken over the planning of the trip.

As we approached US 11, the road crossing near Atkins, Virginia, we began to pass through pastureland, and encountered a few cows now and then. It is in this type of country that purification of water is important. Although I never treated my water, I was very careful to be aware of where I was taking it from, and what was around the source. I did not draw water from areas where cows were present. I just drank what I had or remained thirsty until I left the bovine area.

About a half mile before arriving at the Motel, it began to rain. It only rained for a little while, just enough to annoy us.

We took a room at the Motel for $22.88, cleaned up and headed for the restaurant. I had a dinner of hamburger steak, french fries, roll, of course the salad bar, and blueberry cobbler and a scoop of ice cream- all for $6.34. After that, I tried to call Cheryl, my sister-in-law, but got a bad connection. In our room we did something that we had not done for some time: we watched television. We watched a rerun of "Big Valley", and episodes of the hit series "the A-Team," "Remington Steel," and "St. Elsewhere." Later I called my brother Carl, and his wife Cheryl again, got a better connection and even got to talk with my two year old niece Erin for a little bit. All calls made during this trip were made using a credit card number that applied the bill to my mothers phone bill. Topped the night off with a Dr. Pepper and a few crackers I snagged from the restaurant.

Gonzo! Appalachian Trail Journals ©1983

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